Vols Look to Earn Bowl Eligibility With Victory Over South Alabama
(utsports.com) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Vols will look earn their sixth win and secure bowl eligibility as they wrap up non-conference play against South Alabama on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium.
After a difficult stretch of four straight games against teams ranked in the top 20, UT will look to finish strong as it enters its final two games of the regular season, both of which will be at home.
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel talked about the benefits of playing in a bowl game during his weekly press conference on Monday afternoon.
“It’s big because it shows progress in year one, just over the course of the season,” Heupel said in regard to getting to a bowl game. “But then, the practices on the back end of it are instrumental in continuing to develop your young guys.
“You get another few weeks with them, strength and conditioning in the weight room, too. All those things are huge as you push your program forward.”
The Vols know they’ll need to be locked in for Saturday’s contest against a solid Jaguars team that also enters the game with a 5-5 record and will be looking to earn bowl eligibility.
“For us, we talk about us every week, and that’s true this week,” Heupel said. “Control the controllables, control your preparation, be really consistent in who you are. Our competitive nature has to be the same and really consistent. I think that’s one of the ways that as a football team we’ve continued to grow is in our preparation.
“You’ve heard me talk a lot about that early in the year. I wasn’t happy with where we were at. I do know that we have grown in that. This Saturday, next opponent, it’s the only one we get to play this week. We need to be ready to go play.”
Saturday will serve as UT’s “Salute to Service” game, as the Big Orange will honor all current and former members of our military. The Vols and Jaguars kick off at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.